Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.
I was doing my annual Halloween lament yesterday with friends about the lack of trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. As usual, everyone commented about how sad it was that more people in our neck of the woods don’t participate in the whole Halloween experience the way other neighborhoods do. Most of the parents in my ‘hood to would love to stay close to home, but confessed to taking their kids to other parts of town that feature big, splashy displays and lots of energy. Let’s face it, it’s no fun to trick-or-treat in a neighborhood where most of the houses are dark and aren’t receiving little goblins. Of course, the homeowners usually come back with, “we don’t do Halloween, because we never get any trick-or-treaters.” It’s a quandary.
I say it every year: trick-or-treating is golden opportunity for those of us with children to connect with the tiny community that is our neighborhood. In past years the parents in our little Halloween brigade have met the new babies on the block, checked in on our elderly neighbors, petted the friendly dogs, discovered other parents from our school, and, most important, we’ve gotten to know our neighbors. Even if it was just to exchange “hellos” until next Halloween. True, there are some situations and neighborhoods where trick-or-treating is a bad idea. But if you are able, I would encourage you to grab the kids and the plastic pumpkin and take a stroll around the block next Thursday. The feeling you get will be just as sweet as the five Mounds bars you snag after the kids are asleep.
If ever there was a weekend to be a part of a community, this is it. The weekend before Halloween is traditionally jammed packed with community events that will make you feel a part of something. Here are a few selects:
Over in Old Lake Highlands, Hexter Elementary is having its annual fundraiser, the Hexter Howl, this Saturday. You and the kids can grab some exercise with a 1K fun run (costumes are encouraged but not mandatory) and then stay for the carnival afterwards. There will be game booths, bounce houses, giant slides, a rock wall tower, music and food on the grill.
Here at Art&Seek we just can’t say enough about the annual Fall Feral Hog Festival in Ben Wheeler, Texas. The tiny East Texas hamlet (sorry, I couldn’t resist) is gearing up to welcome folks from miles around for their 6th annual “High on the Hog” event this weekend. You won’t want to miss the world championship wild hog cook-off, Fall Feral Follies, or my favorite, the crowning of the Hog Queen. The gal who is deemed Feral-ist of them all, will win a cash prize and represent the town of Ben Wheeler during all of its main events for the next year. There will also be a parade, a carnival and plenty of live music.
Wanting to have some semi-scary fun as a group? Then grab the neighbors, put on your comfy tennies and head to Keller for Haunted Trails, a night hike down the haunted trail on the Bear Creek Park Greenbelt. Visitors encounter a variety of Scare Stations as they make their way down the trail and afterwards are brought back to the parking area on a hayrides. Keep in mind, that this event may be a bit scary for the tinies and is probably better suited for older children.
Get the little ghouls ready for Dia de los Muertos by decorating sugar skulls or creating paper skeletons (also known as Calacas) at the Dia de los Muertos workshop this Saturday at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. It’s free and open to all ages so bring the whole family. After you’re done with your creation, you can take it home or contribute it to the community altar, which will be on display at the entrance of the center.
And speaking of Dia de los Muertos, the city of Denton is hosting it’s annual Dia de los Muertos Festival this Saturday. The quirky, community get-together is described by the organizers as “little harvest fest, a little Dia de los Muertos, a little Halloween, and a lot of Denton magic.” There will be games and food vendors plus a variety of entertainment on hand including music, story telling, dancing and daredevil side show circus acts that will please monsters of all ages.
Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at firstname.lastname@example.org.